Teenager charged after horror smash


Police have charged a teenager with dangerous driving causing death after a van crash which left 11 of his friends strewn across the road.

Aaron Gourlay, 18, faces one charge of dangerous driving causing death and 10 charges of dangerous driving causing injury. He will appear in the Rotorua District Court on January 10.

The van, carrying 12 teenagers, was travelling north on State Highway 5 at Tumunui, just south of Rotorua, on July 17 when it crossed the centreline and collided into a bank before rolling back on to the road.

All of the group were thrown from the van. Jesse Howe, 17, died 22 days later.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager, Inspector Kevin Taylor, said it was a "devastating" crash that had an immediate and wide impact on the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty communities, and around New Zealand.

© Fairfax NZ News